Syrian air strike kills 20 rebels

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iol pix wld_SYRIA-CRISIS-_0710_11 REUTERS Free Syrian Army fighters help a fellow fighter who was wounded during what the FSA said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in the southern Idlib countryside. Picture: Khalil Ashawi

Beirut - A Syrian Air Force strike on the border with Lebanon killed around 20 Syrian rebel fighters on Friday, security sources said, in the latest spillover of violence into the area.

The strike hit just inside Lebanese territory in a barren area east of the town of Arsal, the sources said.

Earlier this month at least four people were killed and seven wounded in overnight air raids by Syrian forces on mountains and valleys near Arsal.

Syrian rebel fighters have frequently crossed into Arsal, a Sunni Muslim town where residents have often been sympathetic to fighters trying to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is from Syria's Alawite minority.

In January rocket fire from Syria killed at least seven people in the town and wounded 15.

Lebanon, which was torn apart by its own civil war from 1975 to 1990, has been struggling to keep itself out of Syria's civil war, which has stoked sectarian tensions across the region.

In Lebanon, groups have split along sectarian lines over the three-year conflict and the country has faced increased car bombings.

Reuters



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